Re: UPAKOUW + case?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue May 04 1999 - 14:21:42 EDT

At 9:01 AM -0400 5/4/99, Randy Leedy wrote:
>John Moe wrote:
>In the LXX the object of the verb UPAKOUW* is most often in the genitive
>case with rare occurrences of the dative.* In the NT it is nearly always
>in the dative.* In the modern Gr. (Bible translation) it is consistently
>construed with EIS + accusative.* The latter is almost certainly the
>result of a change in Gr. usage over time.* My question: Is the
>difference in usage between the LXX and NT* due* to evolution of the
>language over time also?* Or is there some other explanation?
>in response to which Carl Conrad, added, among other things, the
>information that in modern Greek hUPAKOUW is construed mostly with EIS.
>This is useful information to me. I've had in the back of my mind that I
>want to do some work on this question as it relates to Romans 6:17: HTE
>Perhaps I am not alone in having contributed significantly to incipient
>baldness by scratching my head over whether to take as the object of
>hUPHKOUSATE the phrase EIS hON (awkwardly rendered into English as "you
>obeyed from the heart which pattern of doctrine you were delivered [i.e.,
>the pattern of doctrine which was delivered to you]") or the noun TUPON
>(attracted from dative to accusative), which would leave EIS hON
>functioning adverbially to PAREDOQHTE. This would be rendered into English
>as "You obeyed from the heart the pattern of doctrine unto which you were
>delivered." The latter has always seemed more grammatically suitable (and
>I have no less than CEB Cranfield with me on this one), because I've never
>been able to find that hUPAKOUW can express its object with EIS. But yet
>I've never been able to find a parallel, either, to the idea that people
>can be handed over to a doctrine; it's always the doctrine that's passed
>on to the people. Cranfield suggests that PARADIDWMI in this context
>relates to the transfer of ownership of a slave from one master to
>another, but it hardly seems likely to me that Paul views a pattern of
>doctrine as the new owner of believers. So I've been in a catch-22 over
>this one and have lacked the time to go exploring beyond the New Testament.

Randy, this is actually fascinating; it's just possible we may be able to
do something with this. While I don't much like (as you, more than any
other, perhaps, are aware) the idea of a pattern of doctrine as that to
which one is obedient rather than a person, nevertheless there is surely
the OT model of the Torah as something alive, something readily personified
as Wisdom, and something ultimately coming to be identified with the Logos
who is Christ. Perhaps similar is the figurative language Paul uses in Rom
TOIS MELESIN MOU. I've always wanted to convey NOMON here as "regime:--an
authoritative governing body to which one is subject.

Now checking LSJ-Glare, I find that hUPAKOUW used with a dative of
impersonal things: sun-rays, a diet (hUPAITH); it's used of an ailment
giving way to a remedy; I won't go on and cite it all.

Then a final point. I keep harping on this because I think people really
are uncomfortable with the diachronic view of the Greek language, even
though I am fascinating by the side-by-side existence in the language of
expressions that are couched in traditional syntax and expressions couched
in what we know actually did become standard syntax later. One of these
instances known to every reader of the NT is the parallel use of verbs of
speech (LEGW, LALW) with datives and with PROS + acc; I suspect something
similar is involved in PISTEUW construed with a dative and PISTEUW
construed with EIS + accusative. What I think is going on in Hellenistic
Greek is the initial stage of the process of atrophy of the dative in favor
of prepositions with the accusative. And I'm wondering whether the phrase
that troubles you in Rom 6:17 falls into this same category.

>Can anyone cite the earliest instance(s) of hUPAKOUW construed
>unambiguously with its object expressed by EIS?

I can't find any in LSJ, but if one had the time, this looks like something
worth pursuing on the TLG disk by isolating documents from the first
century B.C. and later to search for how hUAPKOUW is construed. I'll bet
that it can be found with EIS + acc., even if the dative is more common.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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